Yoga Instructor / Studio Manager
My very first experience with yoga was in 1998. I instantly fell in love just after my first class. I had been lifting weights, jogging, and cycling for ten years before that and started feeling the stress on my joints. When I found hot yoga, I knew I had found the perfect balance of physical intensity and mind stilling meditation that I craved. What began as a physical journey became so much more. When I am on my yoga mat the outside world disappears, it is my time to celebrate and nurture myself. Practicing Hot Yoga has improved my life on so many different levels it’s hard to imagine life without it now. Because I believe in hot yoga so passionately, I feel the obligation to share it with the rest of the world. I decided to learn to teach and teach to learn in 2006; it was the best decision I ever made. My classes are designed to keep my students physically and mentally challenged but at the same time designed to allow ourselves the opportunity to let go of the ego and work with our inner strength and our hearts. I have completed courses on teaching yoga for seniors and also gentle yoga for breast cancer survivors. I offer detox classes, classes for weight loss, private one on one and semi-private classes, guided meditation classes for stress and anxiety, and love teaching beginners.
Allison Willet has been teaching yoga for six years and is certified in Bikram, Yin, and Aerial yoga. She is a professional musician and has taught music lessons for almost 20 years. It was easy for Allison to transfer her knowledge as a music educator to the instruction of yoga. In her class, you will notice a focus on anatomy and how you can personally benefit from practicing he 26 poses and 2 breathing exercises that we call the beginning Bikram series.
Allison graduated summa cum laude from Appalachian State University with a degree in violin performance. She went on to graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and earned a master’s degree in violin performance.
After struggling with chronic pain from playing the violin from an early age, Allison started the journey of hot yoga. She also tore an ACL and through the journey of surgery and rehab, has an extensive understanding of knee injuries.
Bikram yoga is for everybody and can even help you heal from injury.
Bryan’s yoga journey started with Baptiste Yoga nearly 20 years ago while living in Pennsylvania. It has since broadened to include hot yoga, vinyasa flow, and traditional Hatha yoga, and deepened in 2018 through completion of his 200-hour Teacher Training at y Respira in Raleigh. Benefiting in so many ways from yoga, Bryan is committed to extending his practice – on and off the mat – as well as to facilitating the experience (and transformation) of other students. A physician by training, Bryan appreciates the importance of the mind-body connection and applies insights regarding our anatomy and physiology. With children pursuing their college and post-graduate education elsewhere, he resides in Durham with his spouse Carolina and dog, Izzi.
Clayton is a native of Durham, North Carolina, and graduated from North Carolina Central University. While in college, he took every opportunity to be involved in fitness and dance.
In addition to being a theater, dance, and physical education/health teacher at a public college-prep charter school, Clayton is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. He currently teaches yoga and barre in various locations around the Triangle. Additionally, he teaches ballet and jazz for adults.
Clayton prides himself in meeting his students at their level, raising the bar, and supporting them to reach that goal. His no-nonsense approach has many dancers and athletes who train under him independently.
Through body and breath, movement and stillness, there lie seeds for recovery and growth. What each person needs may vary. Through yoga, we can become first aware of where to begin, release expectations, and simply flow. I teach Vinyasa Flow, Chair Yoga, and Restorative Yoga.
I believe you find yoga when you need it. I found it at a point when I was on the cusp of big changes, and I was struggling to find my way. I grew up very active with gymnastics, so I immediately felt at home when I found yoga. I love being able to move whichever way I want. As much good as yoga does for me physically; it does more mentally. At a young age, I was prone to anxiety and worry. Through the practice, I figure out how to be happy with myself. I find the strength to change and grow and the patience to accept and wait.
Early in my practice, I knew I wanted to make yoga my life. I went to Bikram’s teacher training in Spring 2012, Yin Yoga training in July 2016, and Inferno Pilates training in Spring 2020. Teaching has added a whole new level to my practice. I learn to communicate effectively and efficiently, understand how the body moves, and watch yoga change lives. I practiced through both of my pregnancies, which was beneficial for my body and mind and fascinating to experience a constantly changing self.
During the pandemic, I struggled to balance self-care with childcare. It’s been a journey of learning to do yoga at home with my kids swirling chaos around me. While I know and proved to myself a home practice can be done with integrity, I believe a dedicated studio adds an element to practice.
When I’m not practicing, I enjoy taking long walks in the woods with my dog and daughters, reading books, crocheting, and learning new things, like gardening, archery, and sign language.
Melissa started practicing Bikram Yoga in December 2012 at the insistence of her mother. She tried her first Bikram class and loved it immediately. After a few months of practicing, she started to experience the physical and mental benefits of Bikram yoga, and shortly after, she knew one day she would want to teach. During her school years, she was involved in dancing, cheerleading, and gymnastics which took a toll on her body. She ended up tearing her Achilles tendon and ACL which both had to be repaired surgically. She tore her ACL a second time and doctors wanted her to have surgery again which she refused. Melissa attended the Fall 2016 Teacher Training in Thailand where she was selected for the demonstration team. She is excited to share her passion for this healing yoga with the world.
Nathan began his yoga practice in 2013. He spent most of the first three years learning Bikram yoga at a wonderful studio in Princeton, New Jersey. He had never experienced anything quite like those sweaty sessions, and he quickly learned to love the heat! As a body-building enthusiast, Nathan also found that yoga contributed significantly to his physical balance. But more than anything else, yoga has helped him develop a deeper and more compassionate awareness of his body.
In 2016, Nathan moved to North Carolina to pursue a doctorate in the Department of Religious Studies at UNC Chapel-Hill. Whenever he’s not reading, writing, or teaching, Nathan is usually in the gym or exploring other styles of yoga, including Ashtanga and Yin. He currently teaches hot vinyasa classes and core-26 variations. In addition to developing strength and flexibility through flows and balancing sequences, these classes encourage students to become attentive to their breath and alignment. While Nathan still loves to sweat in the heat, he also hopes that his classes provide students a safe space where they can cultivate a loving relationship with themselves.
I began Bikram Yoga in the summer of 2012 out of desperation. Born with cerebral palsy and having had a first total knee replacement before age 45, I knew I had to find a way to keep my body moving and maintain my very limited amount of flexibility. I had tried a couple of yoga classes before, but I could never keep up with the fast pace. People told me yoga would be good for me. Instead, I was thoroughly frustrated by the experience.
Bikram Yoga has stabilized me by strengthening my back and core and connecting my mind and body. Before practicing yoga, I fell regularly for many years. Now, falls still happen, but far less frequently. In the spring of 2017, I was invited to do a 200-hour Bikram teacher training at Bikram yoga Durham, and I completed it in September 2017. I never thought I’d become a yoga teacher, but I’m always grateful for the opportunity to lead students through their practice.
So, that’s my story. Come and begin your own story. This yoga gives your body what it needs. The sooner you begin your practice, the longer your mind and body will benefit.
I completed the 200-hour YTT program at The Yoga Place (North Canton, Ohio) in 2014 and the 300/500-hour YTT program at Heartwood Yoga Institute (Bradenton, FL) in 2018. I am currently enrolled in Kripalu’s 1000-Hour Program and have been taking yoga classes on and off for many years. Still, after a bicycling accident (which left me with three fractured lumbar vertebrae, four broken ribs, both clavicles broken in multiple places, a collapsed lung, a concussion, and spinal compression, which made me an inch or so shorter), I decided to commit to the practice and philosophy of yoga. I enjoy all types of yoga and participate in as many workshops and trainings as possible. I am certified in Yin, Senior, Chair, Restorative, Children’s, Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra, Yoga for Healthy Aging, and Aerial (yes, Aerial) yoga. A significant portion of the 300/500-hour program centered on Trauma Sensitive Yoga. Ayurvedic philosophy and practice were also covered.
I grew up in northeast Ohio (27 years) and lived in Georgia and North Carolina for 25 years, along with three years in Florida and one in Pennsylvania.
I am enjoying my yoga journey – the supportive people I encounter along the way, the experiences I get to take with me, and the personal growth that occurs. Jai Bhagwan, Namaste.
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